MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that Freeport man was sentenced today to 1-1/3 to 4 years in prison for stealing car payments from customers and dealerships in Nassau County.
Michael McGriff, 43, pleaded guilty on July 7 before Acting Supreme Court Justice Jerald Carter to charges, from two separate indictments, of:
- Grand larceny in the 2nd degree (a C felony)
- Seven counts of grand larceny in the 3rd Degree (a D felony)
- Identity theft in the 1st degree (a D felony)
- Scheme to defraud in the 1st degree (an E felony)
Judge Carter ordered the defendant to pay restitution in the amount of $365,546.00 by civil judgment to his victims.
“Buying a car can be a stressful experience, and this defendant took advantage of his customers’ trust when he stole more than $350,000 from car buyers and dealerships,” DA Singas said. “I’m grateful to the NCPD and our prosecutors for bringing this case to ensure that this scam artist is out of business and behind bars.”
At Lexus of Rockville Centre and Port Motors Lincoln Mercury in Roslyn, McGriff concealed his theft of funds from his victims by preparing finance contracts that did not reflect the down payments given. As a result, customers were forced to pay higher-than-expected monthly payments or face repossession of the car because the down payment money given to McGriff was never applied to the loan.
McGriff also collected cash payments in full for used cars from customers. Months later, the customers discovered that McGriff had forged finance contracts generated and filed with multiple banks for auto loans that the customers never authorized. Some customers had their vehicles repossessed when the customers refused to pay for the fraudulently obtained loans. In yet another scheme while working at Port Motors, McGriff collected cash payment from customers, but never produced a car. McGriff also used an alias, Michael Glenn, claimed an affiliation with Titanium Auto Group in Uniondale, and collected $12,900 cash from a victim to purchase a vehicle at auction, but never bought the car.
Customers reported their dealings with McGriff to the dealership who, in turn, reported to police.
Detective Jeffrey Marshall with the Nassau County Police Department’s Crimes Against Properties Squad is the investigating and arresting detective.
Assistant District Attorneys Matthew Sotirhos and April Montgomery of DA Singas’ Economic Crimes Bureau are prosecuting the case. McGriff is represented by Lloyd J. Nadel, Esq.